The World Today, Volume 62, Number 7
In the long-drawn-out search for peace in the Middle East, it is often said that the Palestinians do not miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. In the throes of an international boycott of the Hamas government elected in January, windows of opportunity have rarely looked so narrow for the Palestinian leadership. Nevertheless, President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative of late May to call a national referendum if national unity talks failed, raised hopes that he was at last asserting authority over Palestinian militants, both in and outside government. Have events on the beaches of Gaza scuppered his chances of success once again?